15 Feb 2016

If you’re the type of person who enjoys browsing antique and thrift shops, garage sales, or “free” signs on the side of the road, but you’re never quite sure if a piece of furniture is a good find or not, we have some tips for you. A fresh upholstery job can give new life to one of your finds, but it’s good to know if it’ll be worth the investment before you pick up the furniture. With a few guidelines to keep in mind when you find a used piece of furniture at a great price, you can make a knowledgeable decision if it is worth it to re-do.

  1. Check for labels

Flip the furniture upside down and look for any labels you can find. If it’s something generic like Ikea or a store brand, it’s not going to be worth the money to upholster. That’s not to say you still can’t bring it home, but don’t bother investing too much time or money in it. If you come across something vintage that is labeled Thayer Coggin, then swoop that piece up immediately! Bottom line – go ahead and buy something if you like how it looks, but be smart about what you invest money in to have reupholstered.

  1. Check the construction

Some of us can’t tell one brand apart from another. If that’s you, and checking the tag doesn’t help you out a whole lot, check the materials and the quality of construction instead. Avoid anything that’s not solid wood. Things created with particle board or MDF won’t be worth the cost to reupholster. Joints are also a good giveaway on quality. If it looks like it’s held together with glue and nails instead of quality joints like dovetails, you’re safe to move on to the next piece.

  1. Look past the current state

It’s easy to walk right by a piece of furniture that is covered in stained fabric, has sunken cushions, or is in a pattern that reminds you of your grandmother’s curtains. When you’re looking for used furniture, try to look past the state it’s in and focus more on the lines it naturally has to see the potential. A good upholstery job in a luxurious velvet fabric or high-quality neutral can bring a piece with potential back to life. At Burchell Upholstery, we can work our magic to add decorative touches like tufting and craft new cushions for comfortable seating.

  1. Be wary of odors and pests

While stains and holes are easily remedied by a new upholstery job, the cause of the stains and holes may not be so easy to get rid of. Some smells like cat urine and smoke are very difficult to remove, even with the deepest cleaning. If the furniture has bed bugs or something similar, say no and move on.

  1. Overall, trust your instincts

If a piece is really calling to you, and there aren’t any obvious signs that it is unsalvageable, then go for it! You may walk away and regret it. The opposite of that is true, as well. It’s probably best to pass on a piece of furniture that seems perfect but gives you a wary feeling about making the investment to update it.

If you find a used furniture piece that’s begging for a facelift, bring it to the experts at Burchell Upholstery. With the right attention and care, a bargain find can end up being your favorite piece of furniture.